West Bank, Palestinian Authority
Greenstar's mission began in the West Bank in late 1998: to
demonstrate that clean solar energy, advanced technology, wireless
communications, the Web and ecommerce form a potent set of tools
for transforming the social and economic life of small communities
in developing countries. Our overall aim is to be pioneers in
building a new world, enabling people to leap past the centuries,
across the digital divide, into better lives.
In two weeks of "digital culture" activity in the remote Bedouin village of Al-Kaabneh, musicians and artists were contacted, rehearsed, over 20 musical pieces recorded, nearly 20 fascinating works of art were created, and the first of Greenstar's digital culture programs was completed.
You can get a real feel for what it's like in this isolated Palestinian village by viewing the panoramic photographs that we took there in late October. These special movies, which you control with your mouse or keyboard, allow you to pan, tilt, zoom at will from a stationary viewpoint, through a 360-degree view of the village and its solar array.
The first panorama may be downloaded here; it shows the head of the Village Council, Odeh Nasser Al-Najadeh, on the top of the school and community center of the village. The solar array can be seen, along with the desert leading south to the Sinai, and east to the Dead Sea. (436K)
The sessions were recorded live in the village, using solar power from the roof array on the school, and featured musicians from the village and their 5000-year-old tradition of Bedouin music and instruments.
Listen to the free MP3 track, and get more in-depth information, at:
At the same time we were making music in Al-Kaabneh, we were encouraging the people to create artwork based on a number of universal themes. We supplied them with colored pencils, watercolors, pastels and charcoal, along with fine art paper, and showed them some examples of other art created by Palestinians. Then we stood back, and wondered what would happen
A group of both adults and children produced dozens of drawings and paintings, and we have the best of them online now, for your enjoyment. The art produced was amazing for its originality, its crisp vision, and the quality of its rendering.
You can see the complete Al-Kaabneh gallery collection, and download sample images, at:
The San Jose Mercury-News ran a story which came from a press visit by a reporter and a photographer who travelled with us from Jerusalem to Al-Kaabneh for a half day, met the village people and interviewed many of them. The complete text of the article is available at:
TIME Magazine ran a feature that mentions Greenstar, and takes a broad look at the field of bridging the digital divide on a global level. See this article online, at: